Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 5/15/12
Houston_texans_v_a89c

Maurice Jones-Drew wasn't in attendance as Jaguars organized team activities began Tuesday.

The Jaguars were not expecting the NFL leading rusher in 2011 to attend the voluntary portion of the offseason program, but first-year coach Mike Mularkey indicated a direct message was being sent to the organization.

"It's all voluntary," Mularkey said. "I wish he was here. He knows we wish he was here. He's talked about trying to get an extension for his contract."

With Mularkey and his coaching staff installing new schemes, the presence of the team's star player would be mutually beneficial.

But Jones-Drew, like veteran Fred Taylor before him, prefers to work out on his own and the franchise doesn't question his ability to prepare physically. He had 1,606 rushing yards, tops in the NFL, last season but his contract might be a sticking point even with a more well-rounded cast around him in 2012.

Jones-Drew signed a five-year, $31.5 million deal in 2009 and is vastly underpaid relative to two of the NFL's top-salaried running backs and division rivals Chris Johnson (Titans) and Arian Foster (Texans). Jones-Drew is scheduled to earn $4.45 million this season.

Mularkey said he's not planning to get involved in the contract matter.

Jones-Drew, 27, has three straight 1,300-plus-yard seasons since becoming the Jaguars' primary ballcarrier in 2009. He had only four starts in his first three seasons and was a second-round pick out of UCLA in 2006.

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